Monday, March 28

And the award goes to.....

I will admit in the 9 months leading up to Monkey's birth I was worried about how Turkey would react, after all he had been an only child for 6 going on 7 years.  And Turkey gave me plenty of reasons to be nervous during those 9 months, despite us trying to make sure he was heavily involved with the baby-coming-planning.  But as we got closer and closer to Monkey's arrival I began to fear the change less and less.  Finally on the night Monkey was born I knew it would be all right, when Turkey waited for us in the car as to "not miss his brother or sister coming".  

Last night, as I was cooking dinner Monkey was upstairs sleeping and I began to hear him fussing.  As husband was indisposed of, and the ham steaks needed my attention on the stove I asked Turkey to go see his brother and give him his pacifier,. I would be up in the minute I told him.  Within seconds of Turkey getting upstairs I heard Monkey settle.  Then all of a sudden Turkey is yelling for me "Mom, where are the diapers?".  I pulled my grill pan off the stove and dashed upstairs.  There was Turkey in the process of changing Monkey's diaper.  So I asked Turkey why he was changing the diaper, not that I minded.  He told me Monkey "didn't want his nook, and didn't like it when I turned on the mobile.  I figured he wanted a boob, but I couldn't give him that, so I decided to check his diaper."

So there you have it folks, the Brother of the Year Award goes to Turkey!!!!  Granted I might be a little biased, but I am so proud of my oldest boy.  He has made a better than expected transition from being an only to having a sibling.  He loves to read to his brother, take bathes with his brother, show him off at school (yup, we brought the baby to school so he could); he is just so proud.

Now if only he can remember how he loves tending to his brother and helping out when he's 14 and Monkey is 7.

Sunday, March 27

To disturb or not to disturb, that is the question.

I like schedules and set plans.  I like to know when the party is going to start and when it is going to end.  I like to know that after X, comes Y and it's followed by Z.  I especially like to know what is going on when it comes to planning what needs to happen with my children.  In particular with their bedtimes and their routines.

Tonight is Sunday, which means Turkey is going to bed at 7 instead of 8.  (He needs the extra rest before school and I need the extra downtime.)  He has 15 minutes of his Scooby movie to watch before bed and him and Monkey need a bath (together) as well.  This means, Turkey needs to start watching Scooby at 6:30, no later in order to get the bath down and them both in PJs for 7 (Thankfully husband helps with joint bath time to make this time frame possible).

BUT tonight, Monkey is sleeping in his swing, and Turkey is playing math games on his computer.  Husband is napping on the coach and the dog asleep on the floor at his side.  It's quiet in here... real quiet.  I've got plenty of down time right now.

Do I want to disturb everyone in order to keep with "my" schedule?  Would it be the end of the world if Turkey went to bed at 7:15 instead of 7?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Monday, March 21


This afternoon I was breastfeeding Monkey on the bed and he fell asleep.  So I moved him and once I moved him he woke up.  Since he was all bright eyed and looking to play I laid down on the bed next to him and started kissing his little feet and hands.  He was laying on his back and I was laying on my side.

Next thing I know he has rolled onto his side and he starts scooting his body closer and closer to me.  Then he starts rooting on the bed for the breast (it must have smelt like me).  So I take it out, and Monkey gives himself one big push and "ah..... dessert".

Saturday, March 19

What I Don't Get

I just don't understand insurance.

I was looking over my "explanation of benefits" for my hospital stay with Monkey, and if I am looking at this right (which I assume I am, as the form seems pretty self explanatory), my insurance company wants me to pay a deductible for an amount more than I was billed.  The insurance company received a bill for $3.4K from the hospital.  But they have a contract rate of $5.5K but will only pay them $1.7K... so they want me to pay a deducible for the $5.5K-$1.7K which is $3.8K... I don't know about you but wouldn't it be easier for me just to pay $3.4K.  Why do we have insurance again?

And what confuses me further is the hospital called last week, to tell me I owed $45 co-pay (which I paid) for Monkey's birth... they never mentioned wanting $3.8K.

Really, this is terribly confusing.  Wouldn't it save everyone involved money (and time) if the insurance paid against the actual bill and not against this arbitrary "contracted rate".  

I have an e-mail into our HR (hopefully she'll do something this time) and our insurance agent about this, it just doesn't make sense.  I would think HR would be all over it; as my company only requires us to pay $1.5K in deductibles, they pick up the rest.

Insurance reform really needs to start with the insurance companies, and cleaning up messes like this.

Wednesday, March 16

11 Years!!!!

Today I was at the OB's office for my postpartum check-up and the nurse asked me who long I had been with my company.  I had to stop and think about it, and then I realized it's been 11 years.  As of March 3, I have been at the same place of employment for 11 years.

That's 1/3 of my life.  Wow!!!  I better not stop and compute the hours (days or years) I have spent commuting as I would probably cry (it's currently an hour each way). Worse yet, if I calculated how much I have spent on gas in those 11 years.  

I must say I am very impressed with 11 years of service at the same place.  I am the senior person in my department and one of the most senior employees (but only in the number of years worked there).  In this day and age I don't think many people in my generation can claim to have worked at the same place for so long.  I don't know if it's a good thing or if I am a fool.  I took the job because they offered me health insurance and 2 weeks of vacation; little did I know then.

Foolish or not, all the years there have afforded me with  several luxuries.  I now have 5 weeks of time off a year, I set my own hours despite what company policy is, I am allowed to work from home if feel the weather isn't good for driving in, and I can bring Turkey to work if I like.  Really I can get away with pretty much whatever, as long as my job gets done.  I am comfortable.  Over the years I have looked for other jobs (work is certainly a love hate relationship for me) and I have interviewed and been offered other positions, but in the end the comfort wins out.  I know my co-workers, I know my job better than any one  else... if after 11 years I didn't; I think something would be wrong.  

Yup comfort.  This is where I "grew-up", where I became an adult.  This is the place I was working when both of my children where born.  My address has changed several times over the last 11 years, but my work remaining a steady constant.  

And now I am looking at a new comfort... working from home.  Sure I worked from home at the end of my last pregnancy, but making it a permanent thing is different ball of wax.  I hope I am up for this new challenge.  

Memories: Monkey's Birth Story

Tonight at 10:27 Monkey turns one month old.  This has to be the fastest month of my life, which makes sense because his birth was by far faster than's Turkey's (whose wasn't very long either).  So in honor of this day let's take a trip down (a not so distant) memory lane.

The day started out as your typical Tuesday (as of recently), I worked from home, we had dinner and watched Jeopardy.  I put Turkey to bed around 8:15pm.  I walked into our bedroom, where husband sat on the bed looking cute and sweet, ready to watch a movie and cuddle.  "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader", was on TV.  I stopped and leaned on the bed feeling a contraction. After about 10 minutes I told husband, in a very stern voice, he better not panic or get excited but I thought it was time to start timing contractions.  They were about 45 seconds long and 3 or so minutes apart.  I decided I should shower, to see if they stopped then, denoting false labor (which I had been in and out of for what seemed like weeks, dilated to 3cm a few day before).

While in the shower the contractions became a minute long and 2 minutes apart, so I decided it was time to call the OB.  I got out of the shower, called the on-call service and waited for the on-call OB (who happened to be the same OB that delivered Turkey 7 years, 2 weeks and 1 day ago) to call back.  In that mean time I called my parents to put them on alert, as they were watching Turkey.

OB called back and almost talked me out of going to the hospital, since I had only been in labor for about 30 minutes.  But with a 40 minute drive I didn't want to take a chance, and what was the worse that would happen if I wasn't in labor, going home?  We then called my parents back and asked them to meet us at the hospital and woke up Turkey.

Turkey was very excited and didn't want to miss meeting his brother or sister, and was in the car waiting well before we were ready to leave.  Husband packed up the car and took one last pregnancy picture of me and we headed out.

We hadn't driven far when husband realized we needed to get to the hospital fast, and he proceeded to do about 90 mph on the highway.  Labor was hard and fast on the way to the hospital, I hit "transition" about half way there and had to vocalize the contractions, which scared both husband and Turkey, but they were good about reminding me to breath.  Turkey was a great second coach and reminded me "in through the nose and out through the mouth".

We pulled up to the hospital and my mom was waiting outside, she took the car to park it and my step-dad took Turkey inside.  I decided I couldn't sit in a wheel chair and husband helped me inside where a nurse quickly met us.  Husband finished my registration (thank goodness we had preregistered)  and I told the nurse I wanted drugs, she said "we'll see".  They helped me into the bathroom and gave me a johnny to put on, as soon as I took my clothes off my water broke, I put on the johnny as quickly as I could during the contractions and came out into the triage area (thankfully we were the only people there - this is a birthing hospital).

The nurses helped me to a bed and husband held my hand, I told them I needed to push and the nurse checked and saw a head and called for a midwife (my OB wasn't there yet).  Three pushes later and Monkey was born.  The midwife said "Congratulations you have a baby", and I said "Great.  What is is?", as we didn't know the sex before hand, we were told it was a boy.  I looked over and my OB showed up, she only had one glove on.  Monkey's apgars were 8 and 8.  Husband went out to tell Turkey he had a brother, and then joined me.  Monkey was placed on my chest and we were wheeled up to a room (where my OB finished the business and they finished checking us in.  I remember one nurse asking if there was a billing code for delivery in triage.  Ha!!!)

Monkey was born at 10:27 pm on 2/15 and was 7 lbs. 11 oz and 20 inches long.  And I am pleased to say, completely medication free - unless you count the Tylenol I had around 8pm.

In my defense I did start this yesterday, when Monkey turned 1 month old - but life doesn't always allow you to finish a project when you want.

Sunday, March 13

What I Love About Sunday

Craig Morgan has a song called "That's What I Love About Sunday" and while I haven't heard the song yet today I have it stuck in my head; because I am having one of those Sundays, where everything is so peaceful and so right.

Sundays are a day of reflection and a day of preparation.  It's a day to talk to your loved ones and reconnect.

On Sunday I have a standing coffee (or breakfast) date with my husband.  We drop Turkey off at CCD (for non-Catholics that's Confraternity of Christian Doctrine aka church school), and go grab a cup of joe and reconnect before church.

Today, this particular  Sunday, started off damp and cold so when we got home all four of us curled up in the big king size bed and watched a movie (Inkheart).  It was then followed by reading the paper over lunch (another one of my favorite Sunday traditions), and Turkey willingly doing his chores and reading for school.  I don't know what exactly they do to him at CCD but he always comes out so much more willing to help around the house and listen to his parents (so who am I to argue?).  And how can I forget stopping and getting pastries on the way home from church; that's probably the best $2.50 I spend all week.

Afternoons are spent as we please, in the spring and fall that means hiking in the trails behind the house and in the summer a trip to the town beach or having friends over for a BBQ.  Today, Turkey had a birthday party to go to; so husband, Monkey and I spent the day lounging around the house tackling chores in a very laissez-fair manner.

And I can cook on Sunday.  I love cooking and Sunday is probably the only day I don't feel rushed to get dinner on the table so we can move on bedtime routine.

Yup, Sunday rocks.

Thursday, March 10

"It's Natural"

I walked Turkey to his class this morning, and I had a chance to catch-up with his teacher (who I love).  Turkey has a lot going on with the school front (more to follow later, but it say he's "profoundly gifted with a learning disability and spatial issues" barely does it justice), and I had to discuss his "pencil problem" with her.

The pencil conversation lead to Turkey's teacher showing me a page from his "opposite book" (you need to write and draw pictures of opposite things).  Yesterday Turkey decided his opposite to write about was "poop and pee", and while she agreed they were opposites she didn't feel it was appropriate to talk about such things at school.  When she made this point, Turkey chimes in "but it's only natural".  Sweet... guess we'll have to spend more time talking about what is polite conversation and what isn't.

Pardon Me!!!

Pardon me while I toot my own horn... but I totally rocked this afternoon.  While laying in bed breastfeeding, I was also looking up e-mails for my work, and having a conference call with my boss.

Tuesday, March 8

Getting Over It

When I was growing up we ate dinner every night at 5:30, and dinner always consisted of a meat, a veggie and a starch (MVS).  (Unless it was one of those rare occasions my dad was out of town on business then we had fun food like waffles and ice cream.)  My mom made these meals, often with help from us, every night of the week.  We rarely ate out and we rarely had take-out.  And my mom worked and there were anywhere between 4 and 7 kids in the house at any given time (I have 3 brothers, my cousin lived with us in high school and my mom took in special needs foster kids), how she managed all of this and still got dinner on the table every night at 5:30 is beyond me.

And while I am in awe of her parenting and time management skills that allowed this precision to be possible I do not aspire to parent as she did.  It's just not my style (don't ask me what my parenting style is, I could not tell you.)

But for, whatever reason; I cannot get it out of my head that all dinners should consist of a MVS (served with a glass of milk just as mom did).  I can accept that the glass of milk will not be whole milk, as we've learned in the last 30 years it's not that great for you.  But like I said before I am hung up on the MVS.  I feel compelled to make all dinners fit into this mold.

I really need to get over this.  I need to learn to accept that it's OK to serve fruit instead of a veggie.  And that it's even ok to skip one of the MVSs on occassion.  Meatless meals are OK and *shocker* they are GOOD for you.  I don't need to feel guilty if I serve breakfast for dinner, which we often do.

Dinner isn't what is served on the plate, it's the meal we share with the people we love at the end of the day while we all catch-up and reconnect.

(And in case you are wondering my mom no longer serves dinner at 5:30 and no longer cares about MVS (so why do I?) - in fact she's an on again off again vegetarian that has a love affair with tofu and eating out.)


Having a baby means many things - sleepless nights, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, doctor visits, cloth or disposable diapers, breast feeding issues, etc... but one of the least talked about and but probably one of the most frustrating aspects (at least for me) of a new bay is paperwork.

Before Monkey was born I checked with HR at work about paperwork for insurance on him and maternity leave.  HR told me it was no problem all of the paperwork had to wait until after the baby was born, and they told me I had 12 weeks of maternity leave (per our employee handbook).  I told her anything we could do ahead of time would be great, again I was told nope nothing can be done ahead of time it all had to wait.

About 2 weeks after Monkey's birth I learn that we only get paid for 6 weeks of maternity leave.  When I asked HR about this, she told me she was surprised to learn this as well.  Then HR told me I had to wait to get my maternity leave paperwork as she had to put in info about my last pay period; so I waited on this.  Then when I picked it up, she told me she was wrong and I could have gotten the paperwork from her sooner.

The paperwork for the maternity leave payment is 10 pages long, 4 of which need to be filled out by my doctor. Husband dropped that off at the doctors and they said OK, give us 7 days.  7 days came and went so I called on it, first they said "OK, it'll be ready on Monday we'll call you."   Monday came and went, so I called and the women doing my paperwork was out, and then I was told it would take 1 to 2 weeks to complete.  Really???  So I put up a stink, and low and behold it will be ready within an hour.

More paperwork came in adding Monkey to my insurance.  I asked HR to do this for me, and she some how forgot I had to fill out paperwork.  So after my nagging about it, HR e-mails me 6 pages to complete, and tells me it's no big deal she has 30 days to add him to insurance per our insurance company.  So I fill out the paperwork, scan it and e-mail it back and I mail the hard copies as well.  Guess what, HR still hasn't filled the insurance paperwork yet.  Meanwhile I have three different billings departments calling me to harass me because Monkey isn't on my insurance yet.  Telling me they are sending me the bills, and I can deal with the insurance company.  Really???

I am beyond frustrated with HR and all the paperwork.

Thankfully all the other paperwork has gone smoother - the birth certificate, the application for a social security number.

And while I am at it, you know what else really frustrates me (and this is not related to child birth or paperwork); every call we make from our house that is not within town is long distance.  Yes, we still have a land-line.    We have cells phones as well, but your lucky you can get a cell signal from our house; and if a car drive by or the wind blows you can kiss that signal good-bye.  So 95% of the calls we make are long distance.  I mean really, it's 2011 you would think I could call my doctor's office without first having to dial a 1 and the area code.

(On a related note; when I had Turkey 7 years ago we had a different HR person, who only worked PT, and my paperwork was done and done quickly at that.  Turkey was on my insurance within 3 days and my maternity leave was taken care of and check issued within a week.  You would think with all the technological advances in 7 years it would be as efficient, if not more efficient to do this paperwork right now.)

Monday, March 7


When you have a baby everyone tells you to nap when baby naps... this is easier said than done.

In the first few days after he was born I could have easily done this, but then Monkey was admitted to the hospital for jaundice and napping was the last thing on my mind.  Now that we've been home for almost 2 weeks I have felt the need to nap maybe a handful of times.  Most of the time when Monkey is sleeping I feel the need to get something, anything done  - laundry, dishes,  thank you cards, playing with Turkey, blog postings, etc.  Napping just isn't high on my list.

But then this morning, I would have done almost anything for a nap.  I was finally ready.  Monkey had a good feed and seemed sleepy, so I put him down and laid down myself.  And as soon as I turned out the light he woke up.  I called in reinforcements, aka my husband.  They should call him The Baby Whisperer - he can put that child to sleep like none other.  But Monkey fought it, so while I waited for him to fall asleep I had a snack, had some water - and wouldn't you know it, as soon as Monkey was asleep I was wide awake.  Go figure.


For the 1st through 3rd graders in my town Pokemon and Lego guys are currency.  They are traded on the bus, at lunch, at recess.  But as with all things like this, they cause a number of problems.  Cards and guys have been banned from the bus, by certain teachers, on certain days (but not on others).

That being said, when Turkey (7 years old and in 1st grade), came into my room this morning already dressed and told me he had taken care of his backpack already I knew something was up.

Every school night I get his backpack ready for school, and last night I left out his snow pants - it was going to rain the next day and the snow pants wouldn't be needed as there would be no outside recess.  Turkey however, insisted on adding the snow pants to his backpack.  No matter how many times I told him he didn't need them he didn't believe me.  I knew he was hiding something, and I couldn't decide if it was Pokemon or Lego guys.  So I started looking in the small pockets of his backpack, and only found the usual (phone numbers, his morning snack, and some gum).  When I went to check the large pocket he started screaming about his "privacy".  This is "my private property you can't look in here", "what about my rights" - please kid you're 7.  As I pulled out the snow pants, out came the Pokemon box; which was followed by the tears and the excuse "I need to show Matt, otherwise he won't believe I have a Pokemon tin.  I don't want Matt to think....."

Oh, poor Turkey you have much to learn about privacy and more to learn about what other people think.  Mornings like this make me fear the adolescent years.  It reminds me of the days he gets mad at me storms to his room sobbing "you don't understand me" - you are right I don't understand you, and I may never fully understand you but I am your mother and I know your ways and I know what makes you tick and I know when you are trying to hide something.  So hopefully, when the teenage years hit I still have this insight and those years won't be as rough (on both of us).

Sunday, March 6

Mommy's Milk

Apparently my new born son, Monkey, did not get the memo about how precious breast milk is.  He has not spent time on the internet reading message-boards and forums that deal with the need to and the often difficulty associated with breast feeding.  He is not aware that breast milk is so coveted that it is sold "black market" on the internet - otherwise; he wouldn't be acting the way he does.

Monkey relishes a good feeding, and loves looking longing up at me with a stream of mommy milk dribbling down his chin.  When he first started doing this I used to look down at him and think "Don't you know the value of that?", thinking what a waste it was; especially after he has a spit-up episode and looses half his lunch.  But now after almost 3 weeks of breast feeding him I am starting to come to terms with his oblivion.

And this is a good thing, if I stressed over every ounce he "wasted" I would loose my mind.  And now when Monkey looks at me with a fresh milk mustache I can laugh, and relish in the fact that not only does it fill his belly and helps him grow, mommy milk is also a source pleasure for him - something to play with.

Popular Posts